Ex-Rep. Hayworth says Flake has 'delusions of inevitability'

Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) said Thursday he's still weighing a run for the seat of retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and that the current GOP frontrunner for the seat has "delusions of inevitability." 

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) jumped into the race quickly after Kyl announced his retirement, earned the early backing of the Club for Growth and is a favorite of national Republicans. 

None of it impresses Hayworth, who told The Ballot Box on Thursday that Flake merely has the support of "the Washington crowd."

"I don't blame Jeff for trying to foster the delusions of inevitability and invincibility, but I think rather than the Washington crowd deciding things, I think people in Arizona will," Hayworth said. 

Hayworth, who is in D.C. this week to host a morning talk show on WMAL radio, made a return to the House floor Thursday afternoon, talking to many of his former colleagues. At one point, Hayworth sat down for a conversation with Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), who chairs the House Appropriations Committee. 

Hayworth said he and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who is also weighing a run for the seat, had a chance encounter with Flake earlier at the Capitol Hill Club, where Hayworth said they "exchanged pleasantries."  

"It was a wonderfully warm meeting," Hayworth said with a hint of sarcasm. 

The former congressman, who launched a failed primary challenge to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) last cycle, said he's in no rush to decide on a Senate bid, noting, "We've got some time."